Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, otherwise known as AOC is in some hot water. The Democratic congressperson is facing blowback from Republican critics over the Capitol riots. More specifically, she’s facing criticism for how she’s dealt with the aftermath.
Initial stories and claims from AOC entailed the “Squad” member talking about how her life was in danger on January 6. She told stories about how she hid from rioters who were storming the building. The problem, as some see it, is that she wasn’t in the same building as the rioters.
Fox News reports the controversy blew up after AOC posted a video in which she described a confrontation with Capitol Police at her office. The Democrat’s office is located in the larger Capitol complex, however, that’s not in the actual Capitol building.
Her office is located in the Cannon building, which is accessible through underground tunnels connected to the Capitol. It was one of the buildings evacuated after reports of explosives popped up in the area. Eventually, DC police found pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails in the area.
In the video, AOC said, “I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive.” The congresswoman also described an incident with a Capitol police officer that made her extremely uncomfortable.
.@AOC describes a Capitol Police officer bursting into her office, says his presence “didn’t feel right” and that he was looking at her “in all of this anger and hostility.” Her staffer reportedly wondered if he would have to fight the officer. pic.twitter.com/LCj2JmmFP6
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) February 2, 2021
Backlash Begins Against AOC
On Wednesday, several critics pointed out that Ocasio-Cortez’s story had some holes. Republican Representative Nancy Mace was chief among those critics. Mace’s office is in the same hallway as AOC’s. Mace said rioters were never in their vicinity. Mace also went after the media who she claimed were sensationalizing the incident.
“My office is 2 doors down. Insurrectionists never stormed our hallway,” Mace wrote on Twitter. “Egregious doesn’t even begin to cover it. Is there nothing MSM won’t politicize?”
Not long after the backlash began, the hashtag #AlexandriaOcasioSmollet trended. The trend was an apparent comparison to actor Jussie Smollett, who falsely claimed to be the victim of a hate crime several years ago.
Ocasio-Cortez Fights Back
While some claimed AOC lied about her involvement in the Capitol riots, she fought back on Twitter. She said she never claimed to be in the dome building, where most of the action centered. However, she was in a building connected to it, and she claimed rioters were present.
“They are manipulating the fact that most people don’t know the layout the Capitol complex,” she wrote. “We were all on the Capitol complex — the attack wasn’t just on the dome.”
Later in the day, the Democrat stopped responding to attacks individually. Instead, she put a call out to “survivors of trauma.”
“To survivors of any trauma who worry about being believed, or that their situation wasn’t ‘bad’ enough or ‘too’ bad, or fear being branded or deemed ‘manipulative’ for telling the truth: I see you,” she tweeted.
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